The ambitious strawberry evolved into a self-pollinating hermaphrodite as part of its global agenda of seductive domination.The scheme was to use the energy it would have spent producing pollen and attracting insects on convincing bipeds to cultivate its progeny worldwide.
The strawberry’s colorful scheme worked beautifully and the fruit is now enjoyed around the globe. But the broad appeal also came at the price of much the strawberry’s flavor and aromatic potential. Like other stars of the global marketplace, today’s commerciual strawberry is bred more for its ability to be transported than for its ability to transport. The commercial values of monoculture and the cultural values of biodiversity remain at odds.
In colonial America, for example, there were once dozens of strawberry varieties being cultivated in fields and greenhouses across the country. Today, almost the entire U.S. strawberry crop consists of a single strawberry species, the “Pineapple” variety or Fragaria ananassa.
Yet hope for the strawberry’s expressive genius still thrives in the wild. As recently as 2012, an undocumented strawberry variety was found fruiting in the high peaks of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. Native to the region, the novel berry was dubbed Fragaria cascadensis.